Anyone who has gone to a gym would know that most of us typically consume more calories than we need on a daily basis, hence the reason for going to the gym to burn off that energy. But as you know, energy is basically a process of transitions. It gets stored in coal, or oil, which we then burn to release in the form of heat, which in turn drives turbines or engines to make electricity or move our cars.
The same process works with food. We consume energy store in whatever that we eat. We do use some of that energy to stay alive, like breathing or walking, but for most of us living in developed markets, there is a surplus. A lot of that energy gets store as fat in our bodies – for a raining day, which usually doesn’t come for most us since we get regular meals – so we go to the gym to use up that energy to stay fit.
Now a gym in the UK is looking to harness all that excess human energy, by hooking up generators to its gym equipment. According to this report, the Green Heart Gym in Hull, England now has equipment that will generate electricity as users work out.
The report says that the power will go to feed the facility’s LED lighting, which should work, but its assertion that such power can go to power other application in the community is a bit far fetched. Unless the gym is equipped with some sophisticated power storage and transmission equipment, it is highly unlikely that power from gym goers will be sufficient to support applications outside the immediate vicinity of the facility.
On the other hand, it is a pretty cool concept. Imagine a system at remote cell sites relying on wind and sun. When those resources are not available for any reason, why not have a crank, or treadmill for local users to power up the equipment. With some of the ultra low powered site equipment being development, it just might work.